tv [untitled] April 4, 2014 2:00pm-2:31pm PDT
fact it's a conflict of interest. but whether or not it was -- rose to the level that somebody should be fired because they committed a conflict of interest, i didn't feel i as a commissioner was in any position to do any value judgment on that. that was up to the agency who -- to make that determination, absent some record that i had in front of me that would cause me to either think this woman should be fired or she shouldn't be fired. i mean, it's -- i think if we're going to make recommendations concerning what the agency should do, we've got to have a lot more information about -- and understanding of what investigation the agency made and reached its
determination. boss comes in and says, i think i took appropriate action. can't tell us what it is obviously for it's a personnel matter. i don't know what he did. but he he seemed -- his judgment, then we listened to all this public comment about what a wonderful employee she is and a wonderful community leader, there is no way i'm inclined to tell the puc you ought to fire her. well, he did have more than commissioner renne characterized in the stipulation. he had some egregious language in the violation itself. influencing a governmental decision in which the official has a financial benefit. and i remember at the time when we were looking at that myself,
i don't want to speak for commissioner hur who is next to me, we sort of had a visceral reaction to that, made some comments, some comments that were in the record. and in regard to the other language, prohibits any city officer or employee from making a contract in which he or she has a financial interest. it wasn't just some sort of generic thing. well, yeah, she he didn't -- she really didn't do it right. it was this is fairly substantial language of a violation how we heard all this other stuff. in my opinion [speaker not understood] in all the other thing we heard. in the face of it, i looked at that and i looked at what we see he is our mandate under our rules ~ to promote the highest standards of ethical behavior in government, and i see a department which is allowing
someone to continue an employment who has pled guilty to these two rather egregiously sounding offenses. and to me it seemed based upon that knowledge and that knowledge only, it was appropriate to say that she shouldn't continue. i've learned a lot more tonight, i have to tell you. >> that's the problem. >> that's the problem, is that it come off with, sure, you're quoting the statute. but even as you read the facts, what we knew about the facts, i certainly didn't feel it was a corruption case in the classic term of the word. that is some public employee who is taking money under the table or doing something else. and her conduct, when it came up, was essential open and above and cooperative and she's
paid the fine for it. she's made a mistake. i agree with these people who said she's made a mistake, she fessed up to it and go forward. ~ certainly >> commissioner, it sounds to me in some ways we're kind of doing our own temperature check on the commission's comfort level with the city departments to internally deal with this personnel matter in some kind of disciplinary fashion. if we trust that there is a process, an internal process, and we trust that something would have happened, then we would -- it seems to me we wouldn't be finding ourselves here so much. to believe that nothing happened, i would say yes. but we'll never know. we don't know. it sounds to me it felt like the executive director was intimating that something happened and there was some disciplinary action, it was a personnel issue. he he said all the right things
in public. around the fact that it's an h.r. issue. but the fact is we'll never know what actually that was. so, we'll just always have to trust the disciplinary actions were taken, if appropriate. so, to me, it seems that would be a logical and reasonable line item to add to a stipulation that if appropriate, disciplinary action should be taken by the agency or the entity. i mean, it's vague enough, it would seem to me, that at least it brings to notice that the organization has a responsibility or the entity has a responsibility to investigate what they should do post the commission's decision. >> and i think that's fine to include. i think to the extent we want to provide a recommendation, i do think it should be done in the context of discussing the
settlement in which case, for example, we had determined -- i'm not saying there was or wasn't sufficient evidence to make this determination. but if we had determined that we thought we wanted to send a letter like that, then i think the procedure would have been -- the settlement would have been rejected. the commission would have had -- staff would have had to gone back to ms. ellis. and if she rejected that part of -- she rejected the settlement on that basis, then it would come to a hearing in front of us and then we would hear all the evidence and make a determination. so, as long as we make that decision in the context of approving the settlement, i think we are going to cover our bases and sort of do the right thing by due process. >> the only thing i would just add to that, i think you're absolutely right, is -- and that's why i said the word reasonable. it would be reasonable -- i mean, it would be -- almost seem unreasonable for the respondent to not want to sign off on, if appropriate,
disciplinary action be taken. what they're basically saying is i get to violate it and i don't think it's fair if i am disciplined on my violation. so, it's well within not only what i consider just general reasoning among the commission, but certainly to any of the respondents who are in violation. ~ of any of these codes. that's where i wanted to see if we could find a middle ground here, where it would not be a kill switch on the stipulation, but at least have, have the, the violator on notice, the respondent on notice, and the entity on notice that something should be done. >> okay. public comment on this notice? hello, commissioners. today is a very sad day, really, very sad day.
i participated when gavin williams, his case was brought before you all, tony hall, sheriff ross mirkarimi, and now juliet [speaker not understood]. during your deliberations, y'all know you were a little bit slow because of whatever reason in adjudicating this case. this case really came from the fair political practices committee which had a stipulation ~. and then just because it came from a higher authority, that kind of entered the flow and y'all messed up big time. so, in the investigation, there are over 30 cases of the san
francisco public utilities commission [speaker not understood], their employees, infringe on ethics, morals and standards. this woman, juliet ellis, ~ chose and employed the wife of this director [speaker not understood]. you all failed to do the investigation. y'all failed miserably. you remember president bill clinton, i did not have sex with this woman? monica lewin ski, looking us all in the eye and not blinking, and what they found out, that he did.
juliet ellis is a very, very elegant person. [speaker not understood] to me. and once in this hallway and a bunch over there, i warned her many, many months ago to change her ways, change her ways and be humble. she did not. commissioners, today is a very, very sad day in the history of this commission that was charged to do right, to discern and to adjudicate based on morals, ethics and standards. you failed miserably. thank you very much.
good evening again. dr. espinola jackson. i would like to say, after listening to your deliberations, i went to the commission, puc commission. in fact, they will be in the very room tomorrow and i will be definitely on them. i said to that commission that i would like for them to have a staff to cease and desist in what was going on in bayview hunters point dealing with the sewer plant. and the commissioner called me back to the podium and said, ms. jackson, we don't have anything to do with the staff. we only deal with the director. i said, okay. but he said, i will be your [speaker not understood] between this commission and you, mrs. jackson, because when i come to a commission meeting,
i come with facts. what we are going through in bayview hunters point and what i see now that i will have to do is request that the rico act be enforced here in san francisco. you made a statement about corruption. this city is so corrupt and it became corrupt from '96 up until now because of what is going on. and i've been watching. i'm 81 years of age, but i've been watching the politics of san francisco for the last 55 years. i have walked these halls like i own them. but i want to make sure that at your next meeting -- i'm finished with that. at your next meeting -- you're the director, correct? when you go over the minutes -- i've already talked to the attorney -- to make sure that he look up the responsibility of the chair. and before you make your motion
to support the minutes that's going to be presented to you, you will have to make adjustments because i don't want to see you in trouble on an action that you have taken because i have been chairman of many boards and i have been on many commissions and i had to learn robert's rules of order. so, that's one thing that i do know well, what a chairman can do and cannot do. so, i don't want no embarrassment on you all at all about your actions that you take. and i want you all to have a blessed evening. >> thank you. any other public comment? dr. derek kerr. several of the public speakers mentioned that ms. ellis had reported her error to you and to the fppc.
she he herself had done it. if so, that's commendable and should be taken into consideration. usually these types of wrongdoing come to you or the fppc from a tip, from a whistle blower. and the wrongdoers who are exposed by whistle blowers instinctively try to ferret out who it is and toize the threat, just a threat. if this case came about through a whistle blower, i would be concerned about am i ellis' return to her position because that would constitute a risk, a threat to the whistle blower if there was one. ~ neutralize thank you.
>> no voter action on number 5. so, moving on to number 6, discussion and possible action on the minutes of the commission's meeting of february 24, 2014. ~ on the minutes. i have one change i'd like to disclose. on page 4 of 6, it states that -- i think it's suggesting that i seconded the motion relating to the closed session, and i don't think i did. i thought i recused myself for that item. okay. you have me rejoining after that so it's hard to see how i could have seconded it.
so, i think that should be changed. any other -- >> do we adopt the minutes as amended? >> second. ~ move that we -- >> public comment? seeing none, all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? passes. next item, the director's report. do we have a report? >> i'm going to make this very quick. the only thing i would draw your attention to is the chart attached to the eb report. you all may remember that the city is actively pursuing a single data site with all of the good information about san francisco government and its work. and all the information and data available from the various agencies. so, the status report at a meeting held this week
regarding this particular effort kind of shows you here that the ethics commission has really been quite a partner in this. the second one on defined reflects data that was posted by city employees who did not leave any identification as to who the poster was. so, we have no idea how that information is. so, you know, obviously always thanks to see our tech person worked that out, making available the data which is always good for transparency. that's my only highlight. >> comments from the commissioners on the executive director's report? public comment? seeing none, items for future meeting. any proposals at this time? public comment on matters appearing -- do i need to take
gentlemen. thank you all for coming i'm tom o'connor i'm a san francisco firefighter i'm a member of the cancer prevention center today, we stand before a memorial to honor the firefighters who have died in hospitals and hospice today, we staples before a sea of by boats to honor those folks a number that is growing every year. every time firefighters enter a burning building we have chemicals and car gins that are interour bodies and for years the deviating effects and recent
studies by control of disease control have demonstrated that firefighters are sxhooum to cancer and now it's time to push back. it is the for that us to let the memorial serve a purpose are that it is time to let san franciscans and the world know that long arrest the fires are put out the firefighters are fighting against cancer we're indicating is to ban toxic chemicals in first one and clothing. chemicals like deadly flammable retardant for children's clothing and known car gins that were band by governor jerry brown recently but perhaps that banned come too coon the
chemical companies with fighting back we're asking for san franciscans they need to know firefighters have to fight for a paycheck and too often those empty boats are for uncertainty today on firefighter cancer awareness today we've asking for the chemicals be out so the families can be taking care of. san francisco recognizes she will take care of people who deprive they're all and soon president chiu will announce that. we also ask today you all remember those empty boats and real heros are leading us everyday and we want you to know the boats represent a firefighters like dan and john
murphy and clyde. 3 brothers we buried in the last 4 months from occupational cancer. we want to send notice that firefighters will not go quietly aefrm we lost a firefighter men and women we'll make every effort to let the city and country know that a he or she has passed serving others. again, thank you for coming and now chief joanne will introduce mayor ed lee (clapping.) >> good morning and thank you to tom o customer local 78 and to the cancer prevention fountains we're pursuing proud to raise awareness and address this important issue an issue
that disproportionately facts our folks. but not only are our active but retired members and it includes the families we want to raise awareness and get the word outline we're concerned and do all we can it protect our members who put their lives on the line everyday for city and county of san francisco. now i will introduce a big supporter of the fire service and fire department that's a privilege to introduce our 43 read mayor mayor ed lee (clapping.) thank you, chief. good morning, everyone well, to city hall. first of all, i want to thank the chief for the introduction and leadership in the department thank the fire commission but
today it's all about the firefighters. and i want to indicate to you very strongly my stance with our firefighters. that as we ask them from day one to take on the life threatening risk of savings accountability 0 people and going into buildings and getting on top of the buildings over one hundred and 50 firefighters putting out those disagrees flames in mission bay. or we shared with station 49 celebrating the reobama of businesses because the firefighters did their job over a year and a half going to do so that fire no, the west portal. our board of supervisors appreciate the firefighters we together as part of the city family acknowledge how important
the fire department and all it's firefighters so when we ask them to take the risk of running into building and doing all the herselfic things there's a moment when we say we can do something for you. as tom started earlier over a shorter of years recently we've become familiar with data that's telling us somethings happening to our firefighters as they fight the fires the toxins it's embodied in the things their buena we're asking them to you think so what and do you see that gets into their lungs and skins and causes repercussions that perhaps takes them years to understand. with the national institute an
occupational heath that studies where berkley with the collaboration with silence spring and breast cancer awareness we've begun to g understand what the data is telling us and great institution like benchmarking and ucsf can continue to tell us more and more things. the data is telling us it that long after those hoefk acts are done the firefighters are in dangerous situations because the poisons in their skin and loungz lungs and rest of the parts of their body. as we said this we'll recognize as a city we've got to take care of our firefighters as well. i do know that the firefighters standing behind me are not only proud of their work and the lives they lead they want to
live long lives and they deserve it it. so i'll breaking with a practice i've had for many years i generally don't monopolies my legislation that the board will introduce but i know that before president chiu has the same goals and i'll simply announce i'll be joining the board of supervisors in elective to recognize those daerz are occupy overlook harry's hazard so allow the confidence of our firefighters they deserve it (clapping) and part of today really is about deepening the understanding of ever in the community we begin in awareness day to ask the city family to pay attention to the data but all the firefighters know we'll
lead the effort in san francisco thanks to to tom o composer see the cancer awareness foujs not only their years of service but now their purpose where the foundation is to take those studies my work with the research institutions and perhaps one of these dies with the innovative spirit of the city with the innovation companies we've got in the city that have contoured taking the toxins out their toxins out of food and making it safer so we can probably find answers taking chemicals out of furniture and building materials out of those things that the firefighters are douglas we to tell you the truth u oublth to do with with industry after industry. i'm a big proponent this is a
serious matter that will effect several lifers the cancer rates moopgz firefighters and also among our female firefighters is higher than the usual rates there's not to be a link and a matter of time and science we're precede we'll be supporting and we should be ahead of the converse curve and precipitate this from happening so taking care of our firefighters and making sure they're looking at out for those ongoing diseases as they get their check upside and also even with the chief and with the local 798 changing some practices. it wasn't twroong ago
firefighters after a heavy effort they'd immediately take off their mask and protective gear we actually ask them to keep the gear on until their away from the dangerous air and the mrugsdz in the air. that's a practice. there maybe other practices we identify that will be better practices that will save lives so all of this needs the attention from our city and labor unions and human resources as part of our commitment as we ask people to save our lightens we in turn-on save there's. i join 798 and the foundation doing the research and our police chief and the commission and